A driver accused of trying to steal gas fled from a law enforcement officer Monday and crashed into a ravine in the East County, officials said.
California Highway Patrol officers were called to the 50-foot embankment near Alpine just before 5 a.m.
Emergency crews recovered the vehicle along Tavern Road just west of Dehesa Road and near Japatul Road.
Approximately an hour later, San Diego County sheriff's deputies found the driver near the wreckage. He was suffering visible injuries and was airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Deputies said the driver was using the gas pumps owned by San Diego County at 2914 Tavern Road to fuel his Toyota Camry.
When a sheriff's deputy who had arrived to get gas for his patrol vehicle started asking questions, the Camry driver took off.
The deputy pursued the Camry at speeds of 60 mph, officials said.
A half of a mile into the pursuit, the Camry crashed into a ravine.
The unidentified suspect faces charges of delaying and evading an officer, deputies said.